(Riverton, WY) Captivating the audience with the stories behind his stories, New York Times best-selling novelist Marc Cameron made a stop on his 17-day tour as the featured author of the Riverton Branch Library’s “Book Talk” series held on Tuesday night.
With his years in law enforcement as inspiration for his books, Cameron spoke about his beginnings as a short story writer and his journey in becoming an award-winning novelist, describing his creative processes for character development in his novels which include the Tom Clancy Jack Ryan series, as well as his Arliss Cutter and Jericho Quinn action/adventure novels. His career as a police officer and US Marshal specializing in dignitary protection had a great influence on scene-building and the shaping of his storylines.
“I think in novels,” Cameron said. “I think in describing the weather…I think in, like, starting from that 30-thousand-foot level and then zooming down into the mind of the person that’s in the shoot-out or running on top of a train.”
Cameron continued with visualizations in describing his research process, recounting his own experiences of when he was a mounted police officer and got bucked off of a horse, dragged by a car by the driver who wanted to kill him…and a story where he tried avoiding a (motorcycle) accident in the Yukon while trying to evade a motorhome that had pulled out in front of him.
“I was bouncing down the highway, my bike was in front of me,” he said. “Luckily, it was a low-side crash..and the poor guy that ran out in front of me was watching me go by in slow motion, and I remember thinking, ‘This is going to be a really cool Jericho Quinn book!’ So it’s all research. In fact, I just heard this most recently from another author…I remember Phillip Roth said this as well: ‘Nothing bad ever happens to a writer. It’s all just research.’”
Cameron said that he had received an email from his son, who had written to him after reading his father’s second Jericho Quinn book, Act of Terror. “I could almost hear his voice,” he said. “…’Dad, I hope that someday I can wheely in a Royal Enfield motorcycle into oncoming gunfire and save the girl.’ That’s pretty much encapsulating the way I want my stories to be felt inside.”
Cameron learned how to read at a very early age. Where the Red Fern Grows was the book that first influenced his desire to be a writer. “I cried my eyes out,” he said. He had asked his third-grade teacher (whom he had a crush on) to read the book to the class.
“I remember sitting just kind of, you know, moon-eyed at the front of the class, listening to her read…she got to the sad part, and she started to cry. People ask me all the time, ‘When did you know you wanted to write?’ That’s when I knew. This book, and how it affected her. Not that I wanted to write books to make pretty girls cry, but I knew that they were powerful. I knew that stories were powerful.”
Cameron and his wife live in Alaska and are currently on the book-signing tour that began in Spokane, Washington, stretching through Wyoming and into Colorado and Utah. Many of the stops are libraries, of which he said have played an important part in his life. His sister has a master’s of Library Science; his aunt was with the Salt Lake City library for many years. His parents are both teachers, and his wife was also a teacher.
“I come from a big library family,” he said. “You guys have an incredible library for this size of a town…this seems like a beautiful city, but this is a big library!”
For more information on Marc Cameron and his novels, visit marccameronbooks.com, or follow his current tour activity on his Facebook page at facebook.com/marc.cameron.5.
Visit the Riverton Branch Library’s Facebook page for ongoing activities and events.